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A Hundred Tiny Threads

Isn’t it wonderful when a friend tells you about their success? Judith Barrow told me about hers today with her novel, ‘A Hundred Tiny Threads’ and how it is book of the month for January 2018 in Wales. What a great start to the New Year.
“Judith has lived in Pembrokeshire for thirty years. She is the author of three novels, and has published poetry and short fiction, winning several poetry competitions, as well as writing three children’s books and a play performed at the Dylan Thomas Centre. Judith grew up in the Pennines, has degrees in literature and creative writing and makes regular appearances at literary festivals.”
A Hundred Tiny Threads is a gritty family saga set in Lancashire in the 1900s and Ireland at the time of the ‘Black and Tans’. This is the prequel to the Howarth family saga of three titles (Pattern of ShadowsChanging Patterns and Living in the Shadows) set in the years before and after WW1.

Nofel afaelgar am hynt a helynt teuluoedd yn swydd Gaerhirfryn yn y 1900au ac yn Iwerddon yn nyddiau’r ‘Black and Tans’. Y stori hon sy’n rhagflaenu saga’r teulu Howarth (y tri theitl Pattern of ShadowsChanging Patterns a Living in the Shadows) a osodwyd yn y blynyddoedd cyn ac wedi’r Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf.

This is a must read for me because I was born in Lancashire, my family history goes back to Ireland and my knowledge of Irish history could be better. Judith’s eye for detail should be a great help.
The intense details leave little to the imagination as the struggle to survive is real and incrementally built as loved ones go and unyielding hatred makes loss worse. It is a layered view of life as characters find challenges on many fronts. Barrow has a keen eye for detail which builds up a feeling of reality in this chronicle of lives lived in harsh situations. The writing is painfully real and feels just as overwhelming as life; decisions quickly taken lead far into the story as a whole. This is apparently a book which precedes three others relating to the same family through several generations. Certainly it is just as diverse, with as many backstories and complicated feelings as real families tend to inherit. There are many elements of tragedy here as well as determined love and strands of hope. This is a superb book for those who like their novels immersive and intense, real life of people around them in times of trial and progress. (Amazon Review)
If you have success to share, shout it out, I love to share positive news.

Affirming The Positives

How often have you been overwhelmed with a headful of, ‘no, don’t do it,’ messages?

When you stop and calm yourself, another voice permeates your mind. This one is often calm and certain and you can trust this voice from your sub-conscious. Perhaps better known as intuition, it knows things not always accessible to the ego out there in the conscious mind.

No, I’m not having a go at the ego; it is only trying to protect you but it isn’t in possession of the whole story.

Your intuition is great at sending signs. How often have you seen that advertising banner and ignored it? No reason really, it just hasn’t grabbed your interest. Today though, something has changed. That poster stands out, intrigues you, and other signs have arrived recently and point in the same direction. They might not carry the specific message from the poster but you know the repeated signs relate. Something has to be done to follow a new road in pursuit of your goals.

How often have you felt an odd pull to do something different? Nothing dramatic; I’m talking about getting off the bus a stop earlier than usual. That pull might lead you to an opportunity that wouldn’t have occurred if you got off at your regular stop. It might just be clarity of thought, bumping into an old friend or helping somebody to cross the road. You don’t need a clear reason to leave the bus a stop early; let your feet do the walking. See where they take you.

Every week, I try to do something new. Often it’s not of any great consequence (sometimes it is) but it’s amazing how new opportunities present because of it. Starting a chat on another person’s blog can lead to new opportunities or ideas for example. It doesn’t have to be earth shattering but it has to be a regular activity, whatever that might be.

Making new connections can change your life, the way you do something, find you a new friend. The possibilities are there for the taking if you are brave enough to make the step of connecting. If you have a feeling you should connect, trust your intuition, go for it.

Have you ever been told to follow your dreams? I tell our children to do just that frequently. Don’t wait for New Year to make resolutions you can’t keep or think that just because you have achieved a major goal you should stop. Make a plan, build slowly, revise, work your way up to the big ones but, most of all, don’t stop following your dreams.

Lot’s of people use affirmations. I do it every day . . .

  • I wish Peace, Love and Happiness to my family this day
  • I will achieve my goals today
  • I will connect with a new person on Social Media who has an interesting profile today

You might have a more general longer term affirmation . . .

  • I will do whatever I can to contribute to peace for all on the planet

The important thing about affirmations is that you keep them in your mind, on your wall, screen. Keep them close, they amazingly influence you and the people around you.

So why am I writing about these things? Simple really; I practice and believe in them and know they make a positive difference. You will find them in my writing too, in the things I post on Social Media. They are not magic or mumbo jumbo but they do have an incredible effect on my life. By sharing, I hope they will lead to positivity in yours too and, the world needs plenty of that.

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